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d'Arnaud could be the spark the Mets need

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MIAMI -- While the Mets have been struggling to put runs up in June -- they'd scored 65 entering Sunday's series finale against the Marlins -- their former No. 1 prospect, catcher Travis d'Arnaud, has continued to light up the Pacific Coast League.

In 13 games since being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on June 7, d'Arnaud has been responsible for 23 of the team's 91 runs. The Mets have scored 35 times in that same span.

d'Arnaud is hitting .453 with the 51s, including nine multihit games, eight doubles, six homers and 16 RBIs. He went 2-for-5 on Saturday.

So it wasn't a long shot for manager Terry Collins to predict that d'Arnaud's return to the Majors could provide the Mets some much-needed offense -- assuming d'Arnaud's production in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League translates.

"Certainly, we don't expect him to hit .500, but if [going to the Minors] helped and it's built up his confidence and he's changed a couple of things, then when he comes back, he'll be a big boost to us," Collins said.

In 36 starts with the Mets this season, d'Arnaud spent 24 games in the seventh slot in the lineup and 12 games in the eighth. He wasn't much of a threat, going 23-for-125 (.184). He scored five runs, drove in nine and struck out 23 times. The bottom third of New York's lineup hasn't produced much this season as a whole, batting a collective .187 in 75 games.

If d'Arnaud can continue his offensive surge when he comes up -- which could happen as soon as this week -- he could prove to be what the Mets have been missing.

"Hopefully, when Travis comes back, he brings that hot bat with him and ... Boy, I'll tell you, it changes that one part of the lineup to be that guy down there that can do some damage and drive in a run, because that's what we've been missing," Collins said.

Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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